Whether you're a new kindergarten parent, or just new to the area, welcome! Chances are you have some questions about the school and how things work. 



the School Day

Much of this information is pulled from the RCES Parents Handbook 


What are school hours?

9:00 a.m. to 3:25 p.m.


The daily schedule* for the 2017-2018 school year is as follows:

8:15 a.m.

School Office opens

8:25 a.m.

Beginning of the duty day for teachers

8:40 a.m.

Students may enter the building

8:50 a.m.

First Bell – Students may enter their homerooms

9:00 a.m.

Second Bell – All students should be in their homerooms

11:35 a.m.

Morning Pre-Kindergarten dismissal

12:50 p.m.

Afternoon Pre-kindergarten arrival

3:25 p.m.

Student dismissal begins

3:55 p.m.

End of the duty day for teachers

4:15 p.m.

School Office closes



*On early dismissal days, dismissal begins at 12:55 p.m.

*In the event of two-hour delay, students may enter the building at 10:50 a.m.


What if we're late?

Late Bell is at 9:00 - Children who arrive late must stop in the office with a parent, sign in, and obtain a late slip before going to their class.

Students who arrive at school more than two hours late will be recorded as absent for a half day.


What if my child is going to be absent?

Report absences online, or call the office at 240-740-1840

Students who are absent from school are expected upon their return to bring a note from a parent explaining the reason for the absence.


What if i need to pick my child up early?

Children who need to leave school during the day should bring a written excuse to the office in the morning for approval.Parents who need to take a child out of school for an appointment are asked to sign him or her out in the office before 3:05 pm.

Students who leave more than two hours early will be recorded as absent for a half day. 


How can I find out if school is delayed/closed for weather emergencies?

We follow Montgomery County school closures, which will be announced on area radio & tv stations. You can also:

What is the lunch schedule?

Kindergarten lunch @ 11:40 recess @ 12:15
1st Grade recess @ 11:40 lunch @ 12:15
2nd Grade lunch @ 10:30 recess @ 11:05
3rd Grade recess @ 10:30 lunch @ 11:05
4th Grade lunch @ 12:50 recess @ 1:25
5th Grade recess @ 12:50 lunch @ 1:25

Can I eat lunch with my child?

Kindergarten parents are encouraged to sign up to help at lunch & recess for the first month of school. 

Parents of all grades are welcome to sign their kids out of school for lunch/recess periods. 

Is RCES a nut-free school?

No. Children are permitted to bring nut-containing lunches. However, depending on the allergies in your child's classroom, most teachers will request only nut-free classroom snacks.

what if my child has allergies?

Children with food allergies sit at a separate table in the cafeteria. Other students are allowed to sit with them to keep them company, as long as they are aware of all allergy table guidelines and pack lunches accordingly.

how do i find the school lunch menu & Prices?

Click here for the current month's school breakfast/lunch menu. 

The menu is also available through the MCPS app


How does my child pay for school lunches?

The school cafeteria uses a computerized cash register system. Every student has an account with a PIN (personalized identification number). To access the account at mealtime, students enter their PIN on a keypad. When a cashier rings up breakfast, lunch or a la carte items, the total amount of the sale is deducted from the prepaid balance in the account. The school meals account is not a credit system.


There are two ways of making deposits to the school meal account:


1) By check

Write the student’s name and PIN number on the front of the check and make it payable to the school cafeteria. If you have more than one child in school, you can write one check for all your children. Be sure to write each student’s name and PIN on the check so that it can be properly credited. Please indicate the deposit amount for each student next to the name.

Place the deposit money in an envelope with “Cafeteria” written on the front.

At the start of the school year, any money left on the account from the previous year will be available for the new school year.


2) My School Bucks

Prefer to load your child's account by debit or credit card? My School Bucks is an optional online service allowing you to make prepayments on your child’s cafeteria account, view recent purchases and check balances. There is a $1.95 convenience fee for each transaction.

can my child buy water or milk?

Milk is available for 60 cents. Students pay via the PIN system described above.

If your child doesn't have a water bottle, they can ask a cafeteria employee for a bathroom pass to get water at the water fountain during lunch.


What if my child loses their coat/hat/backpack/head?

Lost & Found is located behind the nurse's office. Check in at the front desk and the office staff will be happy to direct you there.


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After School


Is there an on-site after care program?

Bar-T provides after care in the RCES all purpose room. See their website for more information.


What after school activities are offered?

This information is coming soon! 


Does RCES offer opportunities for SSL hours?

Yes we do! SSL hours (or Student Service Learning hours) are a requirement for all MCPS middle and high school students. See more information about SSL hours here. Check our Volunteer page, SSL opportunities are often listed in volunteer needs.


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Back to School Checklist

 Make sure you've got everything covered before the first day of school!


1. Make sure you're receiving ConnectEd emails

What's ConnectEd? This is the mailing list that Principal Hammond uses to communicate with RCES families. If you're getting Principal Hammond's weekly Chronicle newletter, then you're all set! If not, please contact the office. PTA does not maintain this mailing list.


2. Buy school supplies

Click here for grade level school supply lists. Need to do some last minute school supply shopping? Start on Amazon Smile and a percentage of your purchase will go to support the RCES PTA!



3. Put money in your child's lunch account

There are two ways of making deposits to the school meal account. See 'HOW DOES MY CHILD PAY FOR SCHOOL LUNCHES' above.



4. Like the RCES PTA Facebook page, and sign up for our Yahoo listserv (see instructions here) to make sure you don't miss out on any important information.


5.  Join PTA and check out available volunteer opportunities on this site!


6. Make sure you know your child's bus stop. If you're driving, know where to drop them off. 

For your convenience, our parking lot is available as a “Kiss and Ride” area for drop-off and pickup.You may allow your child to exit/enter your car from the beginning of the parking lot sidewalk to the sign that indicates “End of Kiss and Ride.”

We ask that you obey the drop-off and pick-up area signs, and be patient when using this area. 


7. Consider signing up to be a room parent, PTA parent or art enrichment parent. 

Learn more about each of these roles at sneak peek, or read about them on our Volunteer page (coming soon)


8. Do your volunteer background check


9. Have a great year!


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Welcome Events


Sneak Peek is held the Thursday or Friday prior to the start of the new school year, and is an opportunity for you and your child to meet their new teacher! See the calendar for the grade specific schedule.


Can I bring my child to the sneak peek kindergarten parents meeting?

Please do! And stick around after the meeting for the kindergarten popsicle playdate on the playground! Meet other kindergarten parents and give your kids an opportunity to check out their new playground, cool off with a popsicle and talk to PTA reps about any questions you have before the school year starts.


Should we bring school supplies to sneak peek?

You're more than welcome, but not required to. Many teachers will have bins set up at sneak peek, to collect shared classroom supplies. It can be helpful to bring supplies for younger kids, so that they don't have to carry them alone on the first day of school.


See our Events page for more PTA sponsored beginning of the school year events! 

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